OUTLANDER- HIGH ON THE HIGHLANDS

An uncomfortable truth has reared its ugly head this past Easter Weekend, a moment of self realisation which I cannot take back, no matter how many eggs of varying sizes I devour. Yes. I have an addiction. It started as a harmless flirtation through Amazon Prime (aka The Enabler). I fancied something new, fun, different. Then the obsession began to take hold of me. I started to see tartan where there was none. I developed an aversion to red coats (sad since I own one). Whisky became palatable. This disease of the mind which occupies my every waking fantasy, has a name: Outlander.

Now my Game of Thrones obsession already keeps me pretty busy, what with the dragon rearing and moon door building and all. And with the fifth season merely hours away *breathes into a paper bag* I had no need of a nicotine patch box set to tide me over until the night is dark and full of terrors once more. But I am but a weak square eyed girl, and have fallen victim to the tartan escapades of Claire Beauchamp- time-traveller and outlaw seducer du jour.

Post war Claire heads to Inverness to rekindle the romance with the husband who has been away fighting in said war, while she patched up the wounded back home. But then, by means of strange music and stone circles she is transported to 18th century Scotland. No, she has no idea how either. A British Red Coat with the face of her present day husband (his distant, ancestor not a face stealing demon) tries to rape her on arrival so there is little time to figure out just how she defied the laws of space and time, suffice to say upon her rescue by Scottish outlaws she has learnt a simple lesson- here Scottish=good, English=potential rapist.

At first the slightly corny and dated voice over Claire huskily imparts to the viewer grated, and the sheer ridiculous nature of the plot rankled in this age of cunning political drama. But then a funny thing happened. I clicked on the next episode. And the next. I ate my dinner in front of a highlands ambush, sipped my wine as a rebellion began. Suddenly the voice over’s poetic language and intimacy of spirit overcame my scoffing critic. The budding romance with the lowly outlaw (who, by the way, gives Poldark a run for his money) melted my hard Lannister heart.

Whilst the world Claire came from was of little interest to me, I found the romance and sheer escapism of the whiskey quaffing oath pledging clans captivating. All the sex and violence of Game of Thrones, but set in a real place you can actually visit. Well, not exactly as I’m pretty sure health and safety would prevent anyone from ever touching those standing stones again, but, you know, Scotland still exists.

Outlander is girly and gutsy, bloody and brooding , yet romantic and rebellious. Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go ask a highlander to throw me over his shoulder, drag me across the border and make me his sassenach (outlander in gaelic. See? It’s even educational).

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